If you came of age in the 1970s like I did, you heard this all-encompassing excuse more times than you could count:
The devil made me do it!
It’s a good thing that the “me decade” with its embarrassing clothing, disco music, and blame-the-devil-for-all-things excuse is long gone, eh?
Yet, though disco may be dead, I’m not sure the whole excuse-making thing is. Ever heard stuff like this?:
Salesperson: “Well, I could double my sales if corporate would lower our prices and the competition wasn’t so stiff.”
Employee: “I’d work harder if they paid me more.”
Manager: “My department would meet all its goals if HR could find us better people.”
Senior Management: “If only our people would catch the vision.”
The People: “If only management would care more about us—and share that vision!”
We write this in Outstanding!:
In truth, there are reasons things go awry: people make mistakes, the ball gets dropped, stuff happens. Life can be complicated, confusing, and complex. We all could go on and on with our “reasons” why something didn’t get done. But when we attempt to exonerate ourselves with explanations, all they sound like are excuses—and, of course, that’s what they really are.
In Flipping the Switch, the companion book to QBQ!, we have a full page of common excuses people espouse, but here are just three core excuses those who practice PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY never make:
1. “I didn’t have time!”
Hogwash! All people make time to do what they really want to do. Read that again and don’t deny it, buy it—because it’s true. Even when time is tight, accountable people get their thinking and language changed to, “I didn’t make time.” Now that’s personal accountability and certainly an approach to life we can model for others.
2. “Nobody taught me!”
They’re your talents and abilities!
With information at our fingertips like never before, claiming to not know how to do something because “nobody taught me” is a lazy person’s way of saying, “I didn’t care enough to figure out how to do it on my own.” More here.
3. “It’s not my problem!”
Then make it your problem.
Now, that doesn’t mean that we do other people’s work for them. This is a judgment call. But many more human beings run from problems than tackle problems. In reality, outstanding people are far more likely to be all over a problem “like a cheap suit” than avoid getting involved.
So there are just three excuses that accountable people never make.
What others can you think of? What excuses have you made lately? What are the consequences of engaging in excuse-making?
Please share below!
(If you are not subscribed, please do so here.)